Friday, October 25, 2013

Taiyaki and Wagashi: Genuine Imitation Food Substitutes

(Toto-tarou, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)

"Taiyaki (鯛焼き , literally "baked sea bream"?) is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans. Other common fillings may be custard, chocolate, cheese, or sweet potato. Some shops even sell taiyaki with okonomiyaki, gyoza filling, or a sausage inside...."

(MC MasterChef, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)

"Wagashi (和菓子 wa-gashi?) is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits. Wagashi is typically made from plant ingredients...."

There are those who don't like unfamiliar food because it's "foreign," others who praise unfamiliar food because it is. The Lemming likes good old American foods like pizza, sauerkraut, zucchini, chow mein, and lefse.

On the other hand, there's something to be said for folks who can bake bean paste, call it "baked sea bream:" and get others to pay for the privilege of eating it.

Then there's bean paste that's shaped like a variety of fruits.

Which brings up an interesting point: does anyone eat fish-shaped baked bean paste stuffed with chocolate and cheese? If so: why?

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